St. Patrick's Day
We all know that when three-leaf clovers come out, it's St. Patrick's Day. This Irish holiday is always celebrated on March 17th, which is the day that Saint Patrick died. He was a missionary way back in the 4th century who converted the Irish to Christianity.
Saint Patrick was born around 385 AD in the United Kingdom. His real name is believed to be Maewyn Succat (he took on Patrick, or Patricus, after he became a priest). When he was 16, he was kidnapped by a group of Irish raiders and sold into slavery in Ireland. During his six-year captivity as a shepherd, he began to have religious visions and found strength in his faith. He finally escaped to France and became a priest - and later a bishop. When he was about 60 years old, Saint Patrick returned to Ireland to spread the Christian word. He used the shamrock, which resembles a three-leafed clover, as a metaphor to explain the Christian concept of God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).
An Irish Holiday?
The first St. Patrick's Day parade didn't take place in Ireland, but actually in New York City on March 17, 1762. Now, over 100 US cities have St. Patrick's Day parades. New York should be called the Big Shamrock instead of the Big Apple because their parade usually puts the rest of them to shame.
Did You Know?
- Green is associated with St. Patrick's Day because it is the color of spring, Ireland and the shamrock.
- Leprechauns are also associated with St. Patrick's Day, although the only reason they are is because they're Irish. Leprechauns are usually mean little creatures - with the exception of the Lucky Charms guy.
- People give Saint Patrick credit for chasing all the snakes out of Ireland. The truth is that snakes are not indigenous to Ireland.
Have Your Say
How do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day? Let us know!